Virtually every sector of the economy is affected by the government. Fates, futures, and bottom lines often shift substantially as a result of governmental decisions. Those who can shape decisions have a competitive edge. To achieve their goals, companies and other organizations need timely and relevant information, and the ability to identify and access the right government officials about issues and proposed legislation or regulations that affect them.
The K&L Gates policy group operates at the intersection of public policy, law, and business. Founded four decades ago, at a time when few law firms had lobbying practices, the policy group has grown from a single lobbyist to become the largest of any fully integrated global law firm. A number of publications, including Chambers USA, a leading guide to the legal profession, have ranked the practice as one of the premier policy practices in the nation most recently in their 2014 edition, acknowledging that the firm “consistently ranks among the nation’s most influential law firms in lobbying and government policy work.” In July 2014, K&L Gates was ranked among the top five law firms in the National Law Journal's Influence 50 survey.
The team’s successes are built on a philosophy that emphasizes a deeply substantive and teamwork-based approach to public policy. Our goal is to understand a policy issue from every direction – substantively and politically – and to use the collective knowledge and experience of our team to help a client achieve its objectives and successfully maneuver through the policy lifecycle: legislation to regulation and dispute resolution. This approach has worked for four decades, which is why the policy group has thrived through eight administrations and 21 Congresses. Likewise, our state policy practice can effectively meet clients' needs in states with dynamic political climates.
The Public Policy and Law group has nearly 50 bipartisan lawyers and policy professionals with 500 years of combined experience in federal and state government. We also help solve clients’ policy and regulatory needs around the globe with offices in world capitals in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Our state policy practice has a strategic geographic footprint, with regional headquarters in Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina. Our members include:
A Policy Team with a Global ReachMembers of our Public Policy group join forces with our Global Government Solutions® practice and together, provide a uniquely effective set of capabilities to help clients deal with governments around the world. Our Global Government Solutions initiative brings together lawyers from various practice disciplines located in fully integrated offices in the primary political, commercial, and financial centers of North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America, including 14 world capitals or seats of government.
Our geographic reach, coupled with the depth and breadth of our practice positions us to advance client interests efficiently and effectively and to develop and execute coordinated strategies in multiple locations. Our widespread global network allows us the opportunity to respond to clients’ needs in a timely manner by delivering exceptional service from an experienced team that is not affected by cross-border limitations.
In their 2013 guide, Chambers said, “The firm's global government solutions initiative relies on smart interaction between 48 offices worldwide. This service is ideally suited to support clients whose policy objectives extend beyond the USA.”
Our firm is experienced in representing defense industry clients in federal business development, budget processes and acquisition, government contract law, and litigation. Our team has been successful in creating and implementing plans of action for clients that improve competitive edge, effectively leverage new opportunities, and strengthen and diversify their business base in war fighter technologies including aerospace, information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, logistics, and the full range of national security policy and appropriations matters.
Our team includes the former assistant secretary, international affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as former Army, Navy, and Air Force officers with years of combined experience working with the Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committees of Congress. Our numbers also include the former General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the counselor to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense, in addition to former members of the U.S. Congress. Our professionals are experienced with the complex government defense interagency process which includes the Department of Intelligence, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of State, and the White House.
Our lawyers have considerable legislative and administrative experience in the laws governing environmental policy. Our work in this arena includes: issues concerning the cleanup, shipping, and handling of hazardous materials; the reauthorization, implementation, and enforcement of Superfund, RCRA, and federal facility agreements; cleanup of federal sites; and the Safe Drinking Water, Endangered Species, Clean Water, and Clean Air Acts. In particular, we have extensive experience with policy issues relating to the storage, disposal, transportation and management at Department of Energy federal sites of nuclear materials, including high-level and low-level radioactive waste and mixed waste.
We also have a leading energy policy practice focused on the U.S. Congress, the Department of Energy, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The firm serves as principal outside counsel for a prominent investor-owned utility on the full array of federal policy and regulatory issues concerning transmission, rates, and regulatory matters. For a broad range of industry clients, we have been active in successfully lobbying for the inclusion of amendments to most of the major energy statutes enacted over the past 25 years, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Our energy experience includes electricity competition, nuclear power and nuclear waste management, hydropower licensing, clean coal technology, renewable energy (especially advanced biofuels, solar and wind), and technology development (e.g., fuels cells, hydrogen, and energy storage).
The financial services policy team is able to provide effective services and insights on the fundamental changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act and the implementation, unprecedented rulemaking, congressional oversight, and inevitable additional legislative changes that will follow. K&L Gates lawyers and professionals from multiple practice areas around the globe offer a full spectrum of services relating to financial and capital markets issues, including public policy, broker-dealers, securities trading, commodities, futures, depository institutions, derivatives, securitization, hedge funds, insurance, annuities, investment banking, investment management, mortgage banking, and consumer finance.
In an increasingly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which the rules are changing, a government affairs component is an integral part of many strategic business plans. We assist clients with their most difficult problems by understanding policy issues from every direction–substantively and politically–and navigating the corridors of Washington, D.C. to ensure that the interests of our clients are effectively represented where and when it matters most. Because an effective government affairs strategy integrates both legislative and regulatory components, we work regularly with the key congressional committees and leadership, as well as the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, HUD/FHA, OCC, OTS, FDIC, White House, Departments of Treasury and Labor, and the FRB.
Our firm has been deeply involved in advancing information technology issues in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, before the executive branch, at the regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Our lawyers and professionals are on the leading edge of the revolutionary changes in technology that are creating unprecedented challenges to traditional laws and public policies. We have helped ensure that the Internet is not regulated; cybersecurity is market-driven and industry-led; intellectual property rights are protected while preventing government mandates; privacy is guarded; government contracts are available; innovative mergers are preserved; access to content is maintained; and traditional "bricks and mortar" companies fully understand and can operate in the "clicks and mortar" world.
Having been heavily involved in advancing and shaping nanotechnology issues, our firm is familiar with the landscape of opportunities and challenges facing nanotechnology companies. We work with a number of nanotechnology companies to secure federal funding for nanotechnology research and development, managing government contracts, securing capital, handling intellectual property, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
K&L Gates has a 35-year history of developing innovative and lasting alliances with its clients in solving problems that arise before state government. Companies and organizations often call upon K&L Gates to manage state government relations matters for them in multiple states or regions. K&L Gates clients can count on several things: a well-known knowledge of the state public policy process, an advocacy strategy that is based on an insider’s familiarity with the way decisions are made, and an attitude of wanting to help clients build their identity in the halls of state capitals in a positive way.
In North Carolina, our public policy group has extensive experience in drafting legislation and the ability to analyze the effect of legislation and regulation on the state. We represent state agencies, counties, and municipalities in public finance work, including legislative analysis and development. We regularly appear before the General Assembly and its committees. Our members serve in leadership positions in the Chamber and other important areas of the community to help make North Carolina a better business environment for our clients.
In Pennsylvania, the firm’s state legislative and executive branch lobbying team is led by a former secretary of legislative affairs to the governor, who also served in a host of senior positions within the Pennsylvania governor���s office, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, as well as a U.S. senator. The team also includes a senior corporate executive who as President of one of Pennsylvania’s largest regulated utilities, managed successful legislative and regulatory strategies. The lawyers and professionals comprising our Pennsylvania practice were involved in the creation and evolution of many of the state programs, laws, and regulations that are relevant to client priorities and, as a result, can bring particular insight to bear on behalf of the client.
In Texas, the members of the state public policy team have worked together for many years on a number of projects that have been among the most challenging that any client can face. K&L Gates lobbyists are well-skilled in their trade, having acquired their experience from working in prominent positions in the legislature and executive branches of Texas government or with Fortune 500 companies. They are a group of experienced and well-known public policy advocates who are backed up by a secure support system of resources, personnel, and technology.
K&L Gates has long represented Pacific Northwest businesses, associations, public utilities, ports, cities, universities, and other public and private institutions in the U.S. capital. Our Seattle office was founded more than a century ago with the mission of providing the highest quality work for people and businesses in the Pacific Northwest; today, K&L Gates has the largest public policy practice of any firm with a significant presence in the Pacific Northwest.
We also possess active state and local public policy practices in California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey and have advised numerous clients regarding state and local public policy priorities in nearly every state.
Maritime and Other TransportationK&L Gates offers the U.S. and international maritime industry significant legal, transactional, legislative, and regulatory capabilities. Our wealth of knowledge and experience is a valuable asset for any business or association related to the maritime industry. Because of our global presence, we offer our services throughout the world, whenever and wherever our clients’ needs may arise. However, the breadth of our experience is not reflected merely in the geographic span of our work, but also in our experience in and understanding of the maritime industry. Our team brings optimal levels of practical experience and industry insight into each engagement to help our clients achieve their goals.
Our firm offers a variety of legal and legislative capabilities to the transportation industry. Building on our long history of service to maritime clients, we have expanded our transportation practice to include aviation, rail, and intermodal clients. We represent major and regional airlines, U.S. airports and seaports, major and regional railroads, intermodal operators, commuter rail operations, and transportation industry manufacturers and suppliers. We recognize that issues affecting the transportation industry often involve more than one branch of government, and our team offers considerable knowledge and experience working with every branch of government to provide our clients with effective and creative solutions to problems, whether they are legislative, regulatory, administrative, or judicial.
Higher EducationWe represent higher education institutions across the United States on a broad range of funding and appropriation matters. We assist clients in identifying and developing federal priorities to achieve their organization's strategic goals. Whether your institution has interest in federal public policy, competitive grant funding, the congressional appropriations process, or building relationships with federal administrative agencies, our team understands the legislative and political process from beginning to end, and will use that knowledge to garner support for your institution.
International TradeWe represent private and public clients, foreign governments, and trade associations from various countries in international trade matters before the U.S. Congress, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative and other U.S. agencies and courts, foreign tribunals, and multilateral institutions. We have extensive experience in both the legal and political elements of World Trade Organization and regional and bilateral free trade agreements, and can provide governments and private clients with comprehensive counsel in all aspects of negotiations and implementation. Our team integrates lobbying and regulatory implementation, thus providing clients with a full perspective on the political and legal implications of existing and pending trade legislation and assisting them in developing successful strategies to address these implications. Our methodology is flexible and tailored to the business goals and challenges of each client.
PostalOur postal team helps clients to take full advantage of the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls of the new postal reform laws and the transition to the new rate-making system. We have deep experience with the unique legal and economic issues facing the mailing industry and have an active rate litigation practice before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), established relationships with senior management and the legal and technical staffs at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and years of experience working with congressional postal committees.
Government Ethics and Election LawOur firm has provided guidance to clients on campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, and other political ethics matters. We also have worked to ensure that the pertinent rules are kept in mind throughout the planning and implementation of policy projects to avoid embarrassments for clients or government decision makers. We routinely advise clients and conduct ethics audits on compliance with the laws regulating political activity, fundraising and contributions, and lobbying registration and disclosure. We also advise clients on all ethical aspects of interacting with the U.S. Congress and the executive branch regarding gifts, travel, honoraria, and past employment restrictions, as well as the growing web of state and local ethics and campaign finance regulations including “pay-to-play” restrictions affecting companies in often unexpected ways. Download a copy of the K&L Gates “Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities".
A Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities